In Early Years our ethos is to ‘nurture hearts and inspire minds’, giving our children the best start to life, by providing them with skills, knowledge and understanding in order to thrive today and throughout their life.
Principles of our Early Years curriculum:
Effective teaching and learning in the EYFS at Elm C of E Primary and Pre-School identifies children’s needs and interests and helps them learn and develop in all seven areas of learning.
Children learn best when they are happy, secure and actively involved in their own learning.
Practitioners regularly discuss and review children’s learning and development with each other, and with parents, ensuring children are involved and enjoying their learning. These discussions help us to review children’s development and ensure that they are prepared for their next step in their learning journey.
Children learn at different rates, every child can progress well, with the right support.
Every child is on their own unique learning journey and can thrive.
What are we trying to achieve through our curriculum?
At Elm C of E Primary and Pre-School we offer a broad and balanced curriculum, which has three elements:
1. Teaching and learning based on our children’s interests.
2. A regular cycle of learning based on themes, stories, songs and rhymes; WOW moments and experiences; and Forest School.
3. Our curricular goals.
Learning within the Early Years is play based, being an essential part of children’s learning, and takes place indoors and outside. Children choose their play through high quality resources which have been carefully selected to ensure rich potential learning. There is a balance between child-initiated experiences and adult-guided learning.
Our curriculum supports children to build, broaden and deepen their interests. Our goals have a ‘progress model’ where skills, knowledge and understanding changes, develops and grows. Our goals are ambitious and provide an overview of many of the things we would like our children to become. They are adaptable to each individual child. Through support and scaffolding, every child can access the curriculum. We recognise that every child will progress and achieve the goals at different rates, however all children will participate in the curriculum. Where children progress quickly, we will deepen their learning, applying the skill to another context or supporting other children.
Our goals are:
1. To be a communicator
2. To be a reflective learner
3. To be an athlete
4. To be an author
5. To be a mathematician
6. To be an ecologist
7. To be a creator
How is our curriculum being delivered?
Our curriculum is implemented through purposeful play, where we respond to each child’s needs and interests, guiding their learning and development through warm and positive interactions.
Through a ‘Planning in the Moment’ approach (Anna Ephgrave) we identify any teachable moments and support children in the moment. We observe children’s play, assess what we see, plan how to respond and teach next steps immediately in a way that is uniquely suited to them and in that particular moment.
Experiences or activities are planned carefully and purposefully to enhance children’s learning and provision, providing challenging and enjoyable experiences to enable children to develop effectively.
Children will access provision indoors and outside, through enabling environments, engaging in valuable interactions with their peers and adults. The balance of activities planned and taught gradually shifts in Reception to help children prepare for their next step in their learning journey, including more formal teaching in Year 1.
Children make a strong start to phonics in Early Years, by creating a 'Talk-a-lot, read-a-lot' Pre-School. Children's vocabulary grows through role-play, discussion, building sentences and using productive questioning. We place huge emphasis on developing children’s love of reading through enticing story and poetry times. In Reception, children learn new sounds daily; learn to blend, read words and stories; and learn to spell words.
Maths is interlinked within all areas of learning. Within provision children are encouraged to talk about number, shape, space and measures, in order to develop these early mathematical skills. In Reception, we use ‘White Rose Maths’ schemes of learning for teaching mathematics. It is a mastery approach which enables all children to understand, enjoy and succeed in Maths. This is done by developing children’s understanding. By truly understanding each mathematical concept and by mastering learning one step at a time, everyone can do Maths! Children develop the right growth mindset, by solving problems using concrete resources, pictorial representations and abstract thinking.
In Reception, children will learn and develop knowledge and new skills during daily Literacy and Maths inputs. They will complete adult-guided activities to apply knowledge and skills linked to these inputs.
We provide enhancements to our provision, linking to children’s interests, events and religious celebrations throughout the year.
Our long term overview includes themes or topics in which we enhance our provision at Pre-School and in Reception.
Our medium term plans then identify specific linked texts, activities, WOW moments and end points we will be working towards through our provision and adult-guided activities.
Assessment is designed to shape future learning. It is ongoing and formative - in the moment and in partnership with children, parents and practitioners.
When a child is aged between 2 and 3, their key person will complete the Progress Check at age 2. At the end of the EYFS, the Reception class teacher will complete the EYFS Profile for each child.
What difference is our curriculum making?
Everything we do is with the child at mind, and strong relationships are built between children and practitioners which create an atmosphere for learning which is conductive to success.
Children’s progress is evident through ongoing assessment and through key assessment points during the year. The impact of the curriculum can be seen through children’s observations and evidence of work in their learning books.
All children will make good progress from their individual starting points emotionally, socially, creatively and academically. Vulnerable children and children with SEND achieve the best possible outcomes from their personal starting points.
Children are ready for their next step in their learning journey.